Microsoft Surface preorders start today at noon, 32GB model priced to take on iPad at $499

Microsoft Surface Release Date

While the news slipped out a bit earlier than the company intended, Microsoft (MSFT) on Tuesday announced pricing and preorder details for its highly anticipated Surface tablet. Preorders for the sleek new Microsoft slate will begin at 12:00 p.m. EDT, 9:00 a.m. PDT on October 16th, though the company stated that quantities will be limited during the pre-sale period. The Surface, which is initially only available running Windows RT, will be priced in line with Apple’s (AAPL) iPad starting at $499, but the base Surface model will include twice as much internal storage (32GB). The tablet is also available bundled with a black Touch Cover accessory for $599 (32GB) or $699 (64GB). A version of the Surface running Microsoft’s full Windows 8 Pro operating system will launch early next year.

Key Surface specs include the NVIDIA T30 processor, 2GB of RAM, front- and rear-facing 720p HD cameras, a full USB 2.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0 and microSDXC support, and the tablet comes bundled with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview with a free upgrade to the full version once it becomes available.

Also of note, the innovative 3 millimeter-thick Touch Cover with an integrated soft-touch keyboard is available in a variety of colors for $119.99 each and the Type Cover, which provides a more standard typing experience, is available for $129.99. Microsoft’s Surface can be preordered at http://www.surface.com, and the company’s full press release follows below.

Microsoft Announces New Surface Details

Ahead of Oct. 26 launch, Microsoft outlines pricing, market availability and special limited quantity pre-order.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 16, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today released new details about its highly anticipated Microsoft Surface, a tablet PC designed to be the ultimate stage for Windows. In addition to pricing and market availability, the company announced a special limited-quantity pre-order for Surface with Windows RT available 9 a.m. PDT. Those who want to learn more or pre-order can visit http://www.Surface.com.

Surface delivers the power of amazing software and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.

A variety of accessories will also be available, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors — black, white, magenta, cyan and red — priced at US$119.99 so customers can express their personal style1. Customers will also have the option to purchase a Type Cover in black for US$129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26, 2012, at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. In addition, Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. See Surface.com for more details.

Additional Product Information — Surface With Windows RT

Software

  • Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview2 (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)

Exterior

  • 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons

Storage

  • 32 GB3; 64 GB

CPU

  • NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM

Wireless

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology

Cameras

  • Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing

Audio

  • Two microphones, stereo speakers

Ports

  • Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port

Sensors

  • Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass

Power Supply

  • 24W power supply

Warranty

  • One-year limited hardware warranty

Apps (included)

  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview2 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

Those interested in learning more or pre-ordering can visit http://www.Surface.com or follow Surface on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Surface and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/surface.

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